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Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre improving living standards for adults with learning difficulties and autism

Diversifying into Residential Care.

The charity diversified from the known day services in 2014, when they learned that a Care home in Starbeck had run into difficulties.

Some of HS4LC’s day centre learners lived at Brackenley and they faced an uncertain future.

We knew that moving vulnerable people from an environment they feel safe in can be hugely distressing, not only for them but families as well.

It occurred to us as an organisation that whilst buying the home presented a risk, we, as a charity, would not make profit a principal motivator so we could therefore help.

With a sound business plan, hard work and support from a lot of people, we managed to acquire the home, keep the existing residents in place and put the business on a sound footing. We have also managed to enhance the lives of the residents by integrating more of them into our educational day centre and ensuring that ‘leading fulfilling lives’, is the focus for the quality of care.

HS4LC not only helped protect and improve the lives of 13 adults needing care it also safeguarded 23 jobs, created  new posts, all receiving above living wage and is providing fully funded apprenticeships in health and social care.

No sooner had Brackenley been successfully taken into the HS4LC fold than we heard of another care home in the town in administration.

Briardene, near the centre of Harrogate is a big, Victorian treble-fronted building with multiple occupancy as well as 13 residents with learning disabilities was in similar trouble.


HS4LC persevered for more than 18 months during which time we were very successful in obtaining grant assistance from the Big Lottery through Power to Change. Together with an investment loan from SASC (Social and Sustainable Capital), which enabled us to make Briardene part of our family in December 2016.

The plan is to reinvest any surplus the businesses generates into new services to enable us to help more and more people, having a greater impact for our beneficiaries and raising awareness in the wider community.

HS4LC are very proud that both of our care homes are Excellence in Care accredited.